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Ranking the Rockies: No. 15 Gonzalez Germen outpitched expectations in 2015

Gonzalez Germen probably won't be part of a winning club's bullpen, but while the rebuild continues, he's a fine option to have on the depth chart.

Gonzalez Germen showed up in Colorado after stints with the Mets and Cubs.
Gonzalez Germen showed up in Colorado after stints with the Mets and Cubs.
Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

There's nothing particularly special about Gonzalez Germen. There's also nothing that says he shouldn't more or less be a replacement level relief pitcher spending the rest of his probably very nomadic career floating between Triple-A and big league pitching staffs in that purgatory roster state that is bullpen depth-slash-DFA limbo.

That is pretty much what he did in 2015, by the way, splitting time between the Cubs (before being placed on waivers), Triple-A Albuquerque, and the Rockies. And while Germen probably isn't on the short list as a legitimate 'pen option for a team that would like to start winning again soon, he's also not in over his head based on his short stint in the big leagues this summer.

In 2015, Germen appeared 29 times with the Rockies, and managed to keep an ERA below four which, as has been noted, is no small feat at Coors Field. His peripherals suggest he wasn't quite as good as it might seem at first glance, though, and he had trouble consistently throwing strikes:

Gonzalez Germen G-GS IP W-L ERA H/9 BB/9 K/9 K:BB ERA+ FIP WHIP
2015 Rockies 29-0 32.2 0-0 3.86 9.1 5.8 6.9 1.19 122 5.12 1.653

OK, so he wasn't great on the mound, and most disturbingly, he walked almost a batter for each one he struck out. Those aren't enviable traits in relievers, and that's why Germen probably won't fit in the Rockies' pen after 2016, assuming the club continues down the path they should be walking, and re-builds into some kind of contender.

But somehow, Germen still had the fourth-highest 2015 WAR among all Rockies' relievers.

Gonzalez Germen's 2016 outlook

Germen won't see arbitration until 2017, and he won't hit free agency until 2020, so he's got some time to live within the Rockies' system. Here's the kicker, though: he's out of minor league options and just became a free agent. So while all the above about Germen being a good enough temporary warm body to man a bullpen in limited inning may be true, it all may be a moot point, too, since he's not likely to make, well, any big league club out of Spring Training. (He was outrighted to Triple-A Albuquerque in October, and then judging by the coming Rockies' roster crunch, there may not have been much of a spot for him, anyways.)

We may well have seen the last of Gonzalez Germen in Denver, especially since he's been a hot ticket on waiver claims in the recent past, moving from the Mets, to the Cubs, to the Rockies in the last calendar year. And since he declared free agency at the end of October, he may find a new home in 2016 as he tests the waters.

Ah, well. It's been real, Gonzalez. Thanks for out-pitching Shelby Miller that one time.

Side note: since his full name is Gonzalez German Germen, why the hell weren't we all calling him GQ'bed? Get it? Like, GQ and G-cubed, combined? Right, guys?